He’ll always appreciate the experience. DJ Khaled expressed what it was like to work with late rapper Nipsey Hussle on their song, “Higher,” and he was clearly moved by the opportunity. “First of all, the marathon continues. Long live Nip,” he told Entertainment Tonight backstage during the VMAs ceremony in New Jersey on Monday, August 26. “Just to be nominated for ‘Higher,’ I appreciate it. I told Nip when we were making the record, ‘We gonna get some awards. We gonna get nominated. I’m just grateful for the nomination and grateful to work with the king, Nip.

Nipsey was shot and killed outside his clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31. His alleged shooter, Eric Ronald Holder Jr., was charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, a press release obtained by In Touch revealed at the time. His death sent shockwaves through the rap community and his fans still mourn his death all these months later.

Nipsey’s final music video was released by Khaled, 43, on May 16, almost two months after the rapper passed away. The joint track, which was nominated in the Best Hip Hop category at the award show, features John Legend on vocals as well. On May 15, Khaled announced on Twitter that he would be releasing a song featuring the rapper on his album, Father of Asahd. He said Nipsey “shared his energy and positivity with me on a video set for a song called, ‘Higher.’ After much prayer and reflection; and with the full blessing of the Asghedom family, I am sharing that with the world.”

Khaled previously honored Nipsey during a Saturday Night Live performance in May. With John accompanying on piano, he wore a black hoodie featuring a large picture of the late rapper’s face. Following the performance, an image of Nipsey appeared on the back wall of the stage. It definitely seems like the rapper is working hard to preserve Nipsey’s legacy.

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